Tuesday morning ushered in a government shutdown after the two chambers of Congress could not agree on a continuing resolution to fund federal programs and services. Aside from about 800,000 government employees who began an unscheduled vacation that will last the duration of the stalemate, life is generally unchanged throughout much of the nation.
Essential services will continue during the shutdown, seniors and soldiers will receive their checks, and, for those on Capital Hill, Tuesday’s agenda was business as usual.
As in previous days, the Republican-led House of Representatives approved a spending bill that would fund the government while taking some of the more reprehensible teeth out of the unpopular ObamaCare bill. In turn, the Senate’s Democrat leadership promptly voted that measure down.
The Senate, emboldened by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, also refused a House recommendation to form a committee through which members from both chambers could debate and hopefully reach a compromise. Instead, Democrats once again demanded the House give up any plans to reform the healthcare law.
While the leftist media and many prominent Democrats continue to assign blame to the GOP for the shutdown, House Speaker John Boehner explained that the Senate could have ended this long ago but “has continued to reject our offers.”
The Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, was similarly incensed at the Democrat party’s lack of flexibility, saying they “have made it perfectly clear that they’d rather shut down the federal government than accept even the most reasonable changes to ObamaCare.”
While a majority of Americans — as during a previous shutdown in 1995 — will initially experience few negative effects during the interruption, destinations including national parks will be closed, and certain federal services will be delayed or postponed.
Experts believe that legislators will work to resolve their disagreements quickly as yet another fiscal issue looms. Later this month, Congress must decide whether to once again raise the nation’s debt limit.
The bottom line, though, is that this shutdown could have easily been avoided if ideologues on the left had acknowledged the will of the people regarding ObamaCare. Republicans were willing to fully fund the federal government with just a few concessions, including a delay in the healthcare bill’s implementation.
Ironically, as Tuesday’s open enrollment was marked by widespread technological complications, it appears ObamaCare has delayed itself.
Photo credit: CTPEKO3A (Creative Commons)